Andrea Iannone topped the timesheets as the final round of the MotoGP World Championship got underway with FP1 at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
The Ecstar Suzuki rider, who has struggled for most of the 2017 season, stormed to the top of the timesheets after switching to the softer option Michelin tyre towards the end of the opening session.
Iannone wasn’t the only unexpected name at the top, Estrella Galicia Marc VDS’ Jack Miller set the second quickest time after taking to the top with five minutes to go before crashing out of the session immediately after setting his quickest time.
KTM’s Pol Espargaro also managed to make use of the softer Michelin to place third.
Andrea Dovizioso led the way out of the two championship contenders in fourth, but did switch to the softer rear tyre to set his quickest time while rival Marc Marquez, who was fifth and less than a tenth off the Ducati, remained on the medium option tyre to display a frighteningly consistent run of laps in the 1’31 bracket.
Maverick Vinales was able to jump into the top ten to place sixth to salvage something from another tough session for Movistar Yamaha. The Spaniard had been behind team-mate Valentino Rossi outside the top 15 until his improvement, which wasn’t forthcoming for the Italian, who rounded out the session a disappointing 18th quickest.
Johann Zarco was third quickest for Monster Tech 3 Yamaha ahead of LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, while KTM wildcard Mika Kallio again impressed with the ninth quickest time of the session ahead of Dani Pedrosa who rounded out the top ten.
Scott Redding was the second quickest Brit in 17th, Sam Lowes 22nd for Aprilia and Bradley Smith 23rd while Jonas Folger’s Tech 3 Yamaha replacement brought up the rear of the field.
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